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Shun blue steel vs Al Mar Ultra... looking for a new knife
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Thread: Shun blue steel vs Al Mar Ultra... looking for a new knife

  1. #1

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    Shun blue steel vs Al Mar Ultra... looking for a new knife

    Hi all, I'm looking to buy a new kitchen knife. I'm using a chicago cutlery hand-me down 8 inch crap knife, which i can sharpen very well, but obviously it doesn't keep it's edge for very long. so anything is large upgrade. I have the money now, and want to get a lasting knife with a price range of 150-250. I tend to do alot of chopping and cutting, though not as much as a professional kitchen, there are times when its close. I'm very knowledgable when it comes to knives in general, i understand the rockwell scale, angle of sharpening, the differnt steels, etc, and i'm also very good at learning how to adapt to the differnt styles, and advantages / disadvantages of differnt knives. I prefer a knife that is a little more forgiving in maintence, and i prefer japanese style knives (light, more agile, larger blades), im looking for around a 10inch blade, something that is rust resistant, or rust proof. I know, japanese knives and rust proof isnt exactly used in the same sentence.

    I've researched the heck out of this, and i've really come down to 2 differnt knives. I would love to hear pro's and con's and any info on them or help you can give.

    Shun VG0008 Blue Steel 10-Inch Kiritsuke Knife
    http://www.amazon.com/Shun-VG0008-St...I2CPCOCSOIVGDS

    I love the semi kiritsuke style of the blade, and i've heard great things about shun, though i also hear they are priced high vs quality then other knives. The handle is ok, but im not as much of a fan of wood.

    Al Mar Ultra Chef Knife
    http://www.amazon.com/Al-Mar-Ultra-C...=IFDF7CFR98EOA
    Now i love the handle. I haven't been able to find much on Al Mar except i know they are near legendary in the folding knife catagory. I would love to hear any expierences on this one especially.

    They both seem to be laminated VG10 (correct me if i'm wrong) with stainless steel. So i imagine it gets the best of both worlds, while sacraficing only a little sharpness. They both are harder, japanese style knifes (rockwell 62~) which is more ideal for me, as i don't do alot of bone cutting. The majority of my work ends up being onion's, tamato's, lettice and raw/cooked beef/chicken, usually boneless.

    I'm also curious to people's expierence with laminated knifes, and kiritsuke style knifes. If they could combine the handle of the Al Mar with the Kiritsuke blade of the shun i would probly have a near perfect knife. Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    the Blue Steel Shun is made of Blue steel, not VG10. i wouldn't buy either. the handle on the Al-Mar looks like a nightmare. i'd buy this, probably, in that kind of price range, and i wanted stainless steel.

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    keep in mind that the shun is an actual kiritsuke. If you want a chef's knife, you won't be happy with the shun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdipisReks View Post
    the Blue Steel Shun is made of Blue steel, not VG10. i wouldn't buy either. the handle on the Al-Mar looks like a nightmare. i'd buy this, probably, in that kind of price range, and i wanted stainless steel.
    Ahh, blue steel so basicly it can rust then? The knife you linked looked good except for the blade, the handle, and well, it's not what im looking for. Like i posted if i could find the blade shape and handle with good materials it would be pefect. That knife lacks either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    keep in mind that the shun is an actual kiritsuke. If you want a chef's knife, you won't be happy with the shun.
    From what i gathered, kiritsuke is thinner and provides thinner cuts, where the Al Mar has a slightly wider back. Are there certain things that the kiritsuke cannot be used for that the Al Mar can be?

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    fwiw, its a double bevel knife based on the description... so a kiritsuke shaped gyuto.

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    Senior Member daveb's Avatar
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    What ER said. Neither. Anytime a "Japanese" knife length is expressed in inches you prob want to keep the mouse rolling. Think 240. Maybe 270. The new (mid 2013 release) Shun blue steel series was discussed here recently - a search for "shun" should find it readily. I can't recall Al-Mar offerings ever being discussed though that handle would be a winner in the ugly knife contest.

    You don't mention sharpening in your post. Suggest that be part of your decision process. Most local retailers, culinary stores, etc, are ill equipped to sharpen Japanese knives for you.

    This site is supported by some excellent retailers for knives and sharpening equipment. They all offer entry level guidance and products that will better suit your needs as described.

    Regards,

    Dave
    Dave
    Older and wider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shade View Post
    From what i gathered, kiritsuke is thinner and provides thinner cuts ...
    I don't know where you're doing your gathering, but that isn't the case.

    The Shun is actually a kiritsuke shaped gyuto. Shun calls it a kiritsuke as a marketing gimmick. True kiritsukes are single-beveled knives, sort of a cross between a yanagiba and an usuba. They have spines in the 4 to 5 mm range. They can in no way be considered as a general purpose knife in a Western kitchen.

    Now there are several kiritsuke shaped gyutos available, if that is the blade shape or profile that you are interested in, but they tend to be a bit out of your price range. Because it is basically flat, with very little belly, the profile is more suited to push-cutting rather than rocking, so keep that in mind.

    As to your two knives that you invite comment on, the Shun is carbon steel clad in stainless, and the edge is prone to rust if not cared for properly. The Al Mar is stainless clad in stainless, but from experience I can't recommend a stainless handle. YMMV. You also could do better than VG-10 for a core steel.

    Rick

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    ahhh you guys are right haha. I was fooled by the construction of the knife.

  10. #10
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shade View Post
    it's not what im looking for.
    so what you want is a gimmick. got it.

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